The law of conservation of energy, which states that the amount of energy in a system is constant. For questions about Earth's environment, see the climate-science tag instead.

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Dropping a weight onto a spring scale

Say I drop a 5kg weight from a height of 1 meters onto a spring scale like many people have in their bathrooms. On impact the scale will show a higher weight than 5kg. Question: Which quantities ...
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1answer
63 views

Where did energy come from?

So it is my understanding that before the big bang there was a very small point that held all of the matter in the universe. My question is what form did energy of the universe take on when it was in ...
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2answers
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Why can't I do this to get infinite energy?

I know that I cannot do this because of conservation of energy, so I am looking for an answer as to why this will not work. So by my understanding of Einstein's whole famous $E=mc^2$ thing, it is ...
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4answers
165 views

In an elastic collision, can we choose between cons. of energy and cons. of momentum?

Suppose we have two solid spheres with masses $m$ and $M$, respectively, and that $m$ is significantly less than $M$. The lighter sphere is placed directly on top of the heavier one, and the two are ...
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5answers
10k views

Where do magnets get the energy to repel?

If I separate two magnets whose opposite poles are facing, I am adding energy. If I let go of the magnets, then presumably the energy that I added is used to move the magnets together again. However, ...
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2answers
2k views

Finding maximum speed in a work-energy problem [on hold]

I have the following problem: The Royal Gorge bridge over the Arkansas River is $310\text{ m}$ above the river. A $57\text{ kg}$ bungee jumper has an elastic cord with an unstressed length of ...
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16answers
4k views

Can a car get better mileage driving over hills?

Two towns are at the same elevation and are connected by two roads of the same length. One road is flat, the other road goes up and down some hills. Will an automobile always get the best mileage ...
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5answers
40 views

How does mechanical energy conservation work? [on hold]

I am a little confused about how mechanical energy conservation operates when it comes to things like predicting velocity. I know that if conservative forces are the only forces acting on a body, then ...
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1answer
95 views

In a CMCS 2-body system, why does the speed of the particles after collision stay the same?

A particle $m_1$ is traveling with velocity $v$ toward a stationary particle $m_2$. The velocity of the center of mass is given as $v_c=\frac{m_1}{m_1+m_2}v$. Changing to a moving coordinate system, ...
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0answers
24 views

Conservation of thermal energy [on hold]

A 2 kg block of ice's temperature is 0 degrees C. It is put into a 10 kg sample of water at 5 degrees C. What mass of the water is melted when thermal equilibrium is reached? I know it has to do ...
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4answers
81 views

Different kinds of energies in the form of $\frac{a_1a_2^2}{2}$

It seems to me that the energy of some kind frequently takes the form $$\frac{a_1a_2^2}{2}$$ Where $a_1$ and $a_2$ are some variables. So, for example, kinetic energy has $m$ and $v$; rotational ...
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0answers
14 views

Is this the energy balance for this problem? [on hold]

I am working on a school project and I have to cool equipment that are in an enclosure that is in the living room of a house. I have an exhaust fan that draws cold air from outside the house (ambient) ...
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1answer
49 views

Finding the equation of motion

I am currently working on a problem where a particle of mass $m$ can move along the x-axis with no friction. The particle is moving in a gravitational field and the potential energy is given by: ...
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1answer
50 views

Why is it necessary to supply constant electricity to make a laser work?

As we know that in lasers there are excited atoms. When energy is provided in the form of light, heat or electricity to these atoms, these excited atoms after sometime go to a lower state of energy ...
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3answers
37 views

When moving from one position to another at a constant velocity, how does the conservation of energy hold?

I know that this might be a duplicate question, but I have not found any satisfactory answers that clear up my lack of understanding. Here is my question. Say a sloth hangs on a tree in the middle of ...
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3answers
336 views

Optimal speed for the water wheel

The hydroelectricity plants extract the potential energy of highly deployed massive object (water) as it falls down. Without turbine, all that energy would be converted into speed (kinetic energy) at ...
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1answer
28 views

Velocity of mass colliding with another mass under the influence of gravity

If two spherical objects of mass $m$ and mass $4m$ are in outer space with no other forces other than the gravitational attraction between them and they're separated by distance $d$, what velocity ...
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1answer
63 views

Pendulum problem where it hits a peg swings around and lands on top of it

Using energy equation from when it is released to when it reaches its highest point after hitting the peg I get change in kinetic energy = 0 and change in potential due to gravity = 0 Does the string ...
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3answers
70 views

How is energy converted when massless spring is attached to a rigid support

Say a massless spring of length l is attached to a rigid support. It is extended to length l + x. Now at this position, the ...
14
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4answers
2k views

Popular depictions of electromagnetic wave: is there an error?

Here are some depictions of electromagnetic wave, similar to the depictions in other places: Isn't there an error? It is logical to presume that the electric field should have maximum when ...
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3answers
36 views

Work and energy

when a ball of mass m is brought with uniform velocity from infinity into the g field of the earth at a distance r from it, the potential energy of the ball earth system decreases from 0 to -GMm/r. ...
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2answers
46 views

Energy conversion (conceptual) question

Suppose I have a electronic car. It runs by electrical energy. So when wheels rotate, mechanical energy is produced. Then why can't we convert it back to electric energy and produce somewhat unlimited ...
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2answers
40 views

Approximating energy loss caused by drag force

We know the usual aerodynamic drag equation is given by: $$F_d = -bv^2$$ Where $b$ here is just some constants combination related to the property of the fluid and the material passing through. My ...
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3answers
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Conservation of momentum but not kinetic energy in inelastic collisions

In inelastic collisions, the kinetic energy of the system is not conserved but the momentum is. Kinetic energy is: $0.5 \times \text{mass} \times \text{velocity}^2$. Momentum is: ...
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0answers
22 views

Fluid approximation for inflaton?

In cosmology there is a widely used fluid approximation which applies when the mean free path is very small compared to the scale of observation and then all the properties of stress energy tensor can ...
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2answers
74 views

Energy conservation $\iff \frac{dE}{dt} = 0\ $?

If I'm asked to prove that a system is/ isn't conservative and compare it to whether or not the Hamiltonian is conserved, does that mean I need to compute the time derivative of energy $(T+U)$? Doing ...
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1answer
46 views

Difference between speed of light and of bullet after passing through a barrier [duplicate]

I just read that, when a ray of light traveling in vacuum at $c$ strikes a glass slab, its speed decreases and then when it re-emerges it gets back to its original speed i.e $c$. If I draw a ...
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3answers
125 views

Example of law of conservation of energy

Law of conservation of energy states that "Energy of the universe remains constant. Energy can neither be created nor be destroyed, but it can be transformed from one form to another". So I ...
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1answer
114 views

Changing momentum of moving trolley

We have a trolley of mass $m$ and it is moving at a velocity $v$ along a smooth horizontal plane. It is full of water, and is leaking water at a constant rate out of the bottom of the trolley, i.e ...
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2answers
60 views

Is potential energy an energy exists or potentiality of energy? [closed]

I want to ask whether Potential Energy is truly existing Energy - though i know the energy concept is abstract and we do not know what is energy truly as Feynman said - or it is the potentiality that ...
0
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1answer
44 views

Doesn't the Big Bang negate the law of conservation of matter? [duplicate]

I was watching Hawking (2004 film) and in the movie, Hawking has a sudden insight that all the matter and energy observed in the known universe may, in fact, have sprung out from nothing (singularity) ...
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1answer
39 views

Ideally black plates

Let's consider $m$ ideally black, thin, infinite plates. Let $T_i$ be the temperature of the $i$-th plate. For given $T_1 > T_m$, why is the radiant flux between any two adjacent plates the same ...
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1answer
175 views

Proof of the conservation of the energy functional for the Gross-Pitaevskii equation?

From the Gross-Pitaevskii equation \begin{equation}i\hbar\frac{\partial\psi}{\partial t}=\left(-\frac{\hbar^2}{2m}\nabla^2+V+g|\psi|^2\right)\psi\end{equation} using the variational relation ...
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1answer
39 views

How does energy get transfered from destructive interference point to constructive one?

If there are two pressure waves (like sound waves) that travel in opposite directions and have the same amplitude then destructive interference occurs: one wave will compress the air particle (here ...
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2answers
75 views

Blackbody radiation and emissive power

According to blackbody radiation theory, and thanks to Planck, we now know that there is a energy density, $u(\lambda,T)$ [$J/m^3$], associated with a certain wavelength at a particular temperature. ...
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0answers
39 views

How can electron move and yet have zero total energy?

Imagine an electron positioned at a zero electric potential plate with zero kinetic energy. The zero electric potential plate is combined in series with another plate with positive electric potential ...
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0answers
22 views

Why is the total energy of current universe conserved? [duplicate]

I began to think about this problem a long time ago and also asked some classmates as well, but none of them can give me a creative solution. I actually developed an original theory that our ...
0
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2answers
33 views

Find max height [closed]

I have stucked with finding max height of an $m$, given only $m, M$ and initial velocity of $m$ - $\vec{V}$. There is no friction in the system. As I understood I need to find $\vec{V_0}$ - velocity ...
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3answers
423 views

Two dimensional elastic collisions with varying angle of incident

If in an elastic collision I know all initial values and that mass for each object remains constant throughout the collision (but different from one another) how can I determine their final velocity ...
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1answer
148 views

Conservation of energy when focusing black body radiation on another black body

This question about whether or not it is possible to focus black-body radiation to make something hotter than the radiation's source was answered mostly negative: the second law of thermodynamics ...
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3answers
285 views

Do photons lose energy due to gravitational redshift? If so, where does the lost energy go? [duplicate]

In the gravitational redshift, the frequency of photons radiated from some source is reduced. As the energy of a photon is given by $\hbar\omega$, if the frequency is reduced where is the lost energy? ...
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2answers
44 views

How does Ohm's law relate to transferring energy?

Potential difference = Current x Resistance where Resistance is a constant. Walking through a circuit I have 1 battery, a wire and 2 components. I start of with 6 volts at the battery and after the ...
0
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2answers
40 views

Why does this capillary action generator not work?

So I was doing a bit of reading. Apparently the the obstacle to generating energy from the forces driving capillary action is breaking the surface tension at the top of a capillary tube. It is just ...
2
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3answers
128 views

Does energy conservation not hold in fission and fusion processes?

I have read that during fission and fusion processes, there is some kind of equilibrium between the single nucleus and the disintegration products, so they are constantly being converted into each ...
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1answer
25 views

What is the source of energy in this system? (resonance realated)

This is curiosity question, sorry if description is too vague. Suppose we have a string attached to some small frame on both sides Then we apply a force by plucking it with a finger, lets say 5.0 N ...
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3answers
604 views

Conservation of Angular Momentum, as related to a flywheel

Trying to work out some pesky flywheel dynamics for a project I'm working on, would love some for your assistance to better understand the underlying concepts. For a given flywheel (thin-walled ...
2
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1answer
45 views

Ball rolling on half-pipe

It is well-known that a ball rolling down a half-pipe where the side it starts on has enough friction for the ball to roll without slipping and on the side other to be frictionless, that the ball will ...
4
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1answer
349 views

Sufficient conditions for the energy to be not conserved?

I'm almost embarrased to ask this question because I thought I was by now very confident with classical mechanics. Someone has stated that given a mechanical system with a Lagrangian $L$ s.t. ...
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1answer
140 views

Why isn't jumping against a wall an elastic collision?

According to this calculator http://www.abecedarical.com/javascript/script_collision1d.html when low mass object hits high mass object it is reflected gaining opposite velocity almost the same as ...
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0answers
26 views

beta minus decay: expression for maximum electron energy

I'm having some trouble finding an expression for the maximum electron energy in beta minus decay. In the frame where the neutron is initially at rest, conservation of momentum reads: ...